2015 Chrystal Dance Prize Winners Announced

$27,000 prize awarded to support international collaboration

Dance Victoria is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Chrystal Dance Prize (CDP) that supports the development of new dance works by western Canadian dance artists working with an international artist or group of artists; and provides scholarships to young dance artists continuing their studies at accredited institutions outside Canada.

Josh Martin & LIsa Gelley Martin
Independent Dance Artist co-winners Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley. Photo by David Cooper.

Emerging Dancers

Young dancers Sasha Beardmore (Victoria) and Candace Gordon (Richmond, BC) were awarded $1,000 and $2,500 respectively.

After winning the Junior Division of the Youth America Grand Prix (Pacific Northwest regionals) earlier this year, Beardmore used her $1,000 CDP award to leverage additional donations that helped get her to New York where in April she competed at the finals and was awarded three scholarships. She will be furthering her studies at the Jacqueline Onassis School of Dance at American Ballet Theater in New York this summer.

Twenty-one year old Candace Gordon has spent the past three years studying classical and contemporary ballet at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. The $2,500 awarded from the CDP will help support her as she completes her degree in Dance Performance. Upon graduation Gordon aspires to perform in a professional dance company that embraces both classical and contemporary ballet. The CDP selection committee was particularly impressed with Gordon’s fine classical technique and performance quality.

 Independent Dance Artist co-winner Meredith Kalaman. Photo by Curtis Stodgell.
Independent Dance Artist co-winner Meredith Kalaman. Photo by Curtis Stodgell.

Independent Dance Artists

The CDP selection committee awarded $8,500 to independent dance artist Meredith Kalaman (Vancouver) and $15,000 to the team of Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley (Vancouver).

Kalaman is a veteran performer in the Vancouver dance community. The $8,500 awarded by the CDP committee will support her continued development of a new piece entitled Femme Fatales with Berlin-based dance dramaturge Gabi Beier. Kalaman will be provided with a residency at Dance Victoria Studios early in 2016. Beier, who is no stranger to Victoria having mentored two new works as part of Dance Victoria’s 2015 LOLA Projects, will return to the city to work with Kalaman and her small company.

Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley are well known to Victoria audiences and the dance community as two of the 605 Collective principal dancers/choreographers. The company has performed as part of Dance Days (2014) and were in residence at Dance Victoria Studios in January 2015. The $15,000 the CDP committee awarded will support bringing Belgium-based choreographer German Jauregui to Dance Victoria Studios for a two-week residency in the coming season. Jauregui is celebrated in the international dance community. For over 10 years (1998-2008), he worked primarily with the Belgian company Ultima Vez / Wim Vandekeybus as a dancer. He began making his own work in 2007. His pieces have been featured at the most prestigious festivals in Europe. Jauregui teaches seminars and workshops worldwide (Impulstanz in Vienna, Atelier de Paris/Carolyn Carlson, Circuit-est in Montréal and many others). In Victoria, he will set a new duet on Martin and Gelley who are interested in developing partnering techniques.

The Chrystal Dance Prize

Open to both emerging and mid-career dance artists, the Chrystal Dance Prize is awarded annually. Participation is limited to dance artists living in Western Canada (MB, SK, AB, BC and YT). In 2016 Dance Victoria’s CDP will award $35,000.

The CDP was established with a bequest to Dance Victoria from Dr. “Chrystal” Kleiman in 2009. The total value of the Kleiman fund, held at the Victoria Foundation, is in excess of $1.4 million. The CDP is generated from an annual disbursement of interest earned on the fund. In addition to Kleiman’s original bequest, Dance Victoria has been successful in securing matching funds from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Endowment Incentives program totaling more than $435,000.